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California shooting victims will be remembered for kind hearts

SACRAMENTO, California. – Father of four children. A best friend with a positive personality. A spirited party-goer. The six people killed in a mass shooting in the California capital remembered their friends and family Monday as police worked to find out what happened.

Dozens of rapid-fire gunfire rang out through the crowded streets of Sacramento early Sunday. three women and three men died and another 12 people were injured. Small memorials with candles, balloons and flowers were set up near the crime scene on Monday morning.

Investigators were looking for at least two gunmen responsible for the violence on the outskirts of the city’s main entertainment district as bars and nightclubs shut down. Sacramento Police said Monday they booked 26-year-old Dandrae Martin as a “related suspect” for assault with a deadly weapon and a loaded gun convict. According to prison records, he was being held without bail and was scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday. It wasn’t immediately clear if Martin had an attorney who could speak for him.

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Few details were released as investigators combed through evidence gathered from what Police Chief Kathy Lester called a complex crime scene. Witnesses have submitted more than 100 videos and photos taken during and shortly after the shooting.

The Sacramento County Coroner released the identities of the six people killed. They were Johntaya Alexander, 21; Melinda Davis, 57; Yamile Martinez-Andrade, 21; Sergio Harris, 38; Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi, 32; and De’vazia Turner, 29.

DE’VAZIA TURNER

De’vazia Turner had four young children, including a three-year-old daughter named Penelope with sticky fingers. But his bright yellow Mercedes CLS was always clean.

Born and raised in Sacramento, Turner played soccer from a young age until a knee injury slowed him down. He worked as a manager for an inventory company, keeping track of things his mother might like and letting her know when they went on sale.

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“He was a protector,” said his mother, Penelope Scott. “He raised him as a single mom, you know, he took on the role of man in the house. He took care of everything.”

He trained five days a week with his father, Frank Turner. When they weren’t pumping iron, they were probably talking about cars. They both had old Buicks — Turner’s was a 1973, his father’s was a 1970 — and Turner had big plans for his. He had just ordered a new stereo and cherry wood steering wheel.

Frank Turner said he plans to finish his son’s car, including painting it to include pictures of De’vazia’s face for his children to see.

“I want them to see their daddy when they see this car,” said Frank Turner.

De’vazia visited his mother on Saturday, ate leftover pork chops and showered before briefly falling asleep on her couch. When he woke up, he said he was going out — a rarity for him because he works so much, Scott said.

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Scott woke up around 1 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep. She was looking at her phone when she received a call that her son had been killed.

“Your children shall bury you. You shouldn’t do that,” she said. “I am grateful that he has a legacy with his children. You know, he’s 29. He didn’t make it to 30.”

The last time Frank Turner saw his son was at the auto shop where they were working on their cars. After his son’s death, a friend called Frank Turner to say the store’s security cameras had caught their conversation.

He watched the video – a father and son spending time together doing something they loved – and he cried.

JOHNTAYA ALEXANDER

Alexander was about to turn 22 when she was killed, her father told the Los Angeles Times. Her birthday was at the end of the month.

She hoped to become a social worker, working with children and being a loving aunt to her nieces and nephews, John Alexander told the newspaper.

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His daughter’s name is a combination of his own and his older sister’s, he told the Times.

“She’s just started her life,” he told the newspaper through sobs. “Stop this senseless shooting.”

MELINDA DAVIS

Davis was a “very naughty lady” who lived on the streets of Sacramento near the firing range. That’s what the Sacramento Bee reported.

Shawn Peter, a leader of the Downtown Sacramento Partnership who has known Davis for 15 years, told the newspaper that she was homeless and had lived in the area intermittently for a decade.

Officials helped her find housing before the pandemic began, but she has returned to the downtown business district in recent months, Peter said. A small bouquet of purple roses with the words “Melinda Rest In Peace” was left on the street in her memory.

“Melinda was a very eccentric person, a very cheeky woman,” he told the newspaper. “It was her world, 24/7.”

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Davis was a regular guest at Maryhouse, a day center for women and children affected by homelessness, from 2016 to 2018, director Shannon Stevens said in an email to The Associated Press. Stevens remembered her as friendly but as someone who doesn’t do well in crowds. At the time she was looking for a housing agency.

“This was a place where she wanted to recover from the trauma of living on the streets of our city,” Sacramento Loaves & Fishes, which runs the Maryhouse program, said in a statement.

SERGIO HARRIS

Described by family members as the life of the party, Harris was a frequent presence at the London nightclub, which is close to the filming location.

“My son was a very energetic young man,” said his mother, Pamela Harris KCRA TV. “Fun to be around, liked to party and smile all the time. Don’t bother people. It’s crazy that this is happening. I’m at the point right now, I don’t know what to do. I don’t even feel like this is real. I have a feeling this is a dream.”

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His family members gathered at the scene on Sunday after not hearing from him for hours. Later that day, Harris became the first victim to be publicly identified by the coroner.

“This is a sad and horrific act of violence that has claimed many lives,” his wife, Leticia Harris, told KCRA-TV. “I want answers so I can close my kids.”

YAMILE MARTINEZ-ANDRADE

Martinez-Andrade was killed in front of her best friend, according to KXTV-TV.

She was described as someone who “brought light into the room,” the channel reported, and had a positive attitude.

“It was never boring with her. She has a beautiful heart and mind. Everyone misses her so much,” her best friend, who was not named, told KXTV-TV.

JOSHUA HOYE LUCCHESI

A memorial containing white and blue balloons, candles and two empty bottles of Hennessy was placed a block from the shooting in honor of Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi. On the floor, someone wrote “Josh” in what appeared to be blue paint.

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“I love and miss you. Foreva n my heart!” someone wrote with a black marker on a white star-shaped balloon. “Things will never be the same,” read another balloon.

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This story has been updated with the correct spelling of De’vazia Turner. It’s De’vazia, not Devazia.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission.

https://www.ksat.com/news/national/2022/04/04/family-friends-mourn-6-victims-of-california-mass-shooting/ California shooting victims will be remembered for kind hearts

Andrew Schnitker

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